On Sunday, the publisher asked for an outline. I responded kind of flippantly, “The whole series or Spirit?” I mean I had only given them an excerpt from Spirit with a hint at the whole series. They wanted the whole series! So since Monday, I’ve been working on outline. Problem is I’m not really an outline person, I’m a chunk writer. I got this unusual notion that once it’s on paper, even virtual paper, I’m committed to that course of action or have to keep what I’ve written. My snippets and version files are numerous. Boy, am I glad I have Scrivener to organize it all.
Even with the bits, pieces, chunks, and whole books in Scrivener, most of the stuff is still in my head. Needless to say, I’ve spent the last week split between working for money and working on the outline. Sometimes doing more of the latter than I should. It’s gotten so bad at times that 15 minutes I promised myself has turned into 2 or 3 hours of unplanned work.
Even if nothing happens with this publisher, at least I’ll have something I can use to go after others. Though I’m really hoping I don’t have to go anywhere else. I have a feeling about this relationship that I can’t explain. I mean, it all started with an experimental graphic that I did 12 years ago on a website that I haven’t updated for quite a few years. Closest series of fortunate events that this comes to is gaining my client of seven years with an email conversation and proving my abilities by updating a website.
Does this mean I’m recommend everybody else try this fly by the seat of the pants method? No because this isn’t really fly by the seat of the pants method. In fact, I would say the quite the opposite. Don’t do things half-assed like I did. Don’t put things on the shelf and get back to them later when they don’t seem to be working out. Follow them through and make sure they are completed to your satisfaction. I know in this day and age when everything has to have some sort of value to make it worthwhile and time seems to be in such short supply the notion of following through with something that is seeming to lead nowhere is hard. Looking back, I know if I had not been so focused on time, money, and justifying the practicality, and sometimes impracticality, of everything I did, I would be better prepared for this glorious moment and several other opportunities that might have passed me by.
Right now, I’m scrambling with something I should have had in place for the series, a general outline. So far the outline, or as I’m calling it now the manual, is 28 pages long. The last two major chunks to go in are the story and character summaries. In the process of fleshing the manual out, I’ve added potentially two more books to the plan. One will only be used if the alternate story are I proposed for the first two stories is picked up. The other, called In the Name of Freedom, is needed to cleanly make the transition from the 21st Century and 26th Century without having to overload the 26th Century books with a lot of back story.
Anyway, if you can’t tell I’m extremely excited and slightly hyper about this prospect. I’m starting to see my dream come true here and I want to take it to the next step pronto!
Speaking of the future . . . I’m not sure what direction this blog, or any of my social network stuff, is going to take once the publisher reviews the outline and the series moves from ideas and half-written stuff to let’s get down to the nitty-gritty writing / publication process to full-blown, hold in you hand books. I’ll definitely going to keep things up because I want to build buzz around the series. However, I want to do in such a way that I don’t jeopardize the series, jinx myself, or do something else stupid like that. This is just too important to me. Way too important.